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Número de publicaciónUS5042235 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Número de solicitudUS 07/454,774
Fecha de publicación27 Ago 1991
Fecha de presentación21 Dic 1989
Fecha de prioridad24 Dic 1988
TarifaCaducada
También publicado comoDE8816085U1, EP0376028A1, EP0376028B1
Número de publicación07454774, 454774, US 5042235 A, US 5042235A, US-A-5042235, US5042235 A, US5042235A
InventoresReiner W. Hannen, Norbert Vermeulen
Cesionario originalMsk-Verpackungs-Systeme Gesellschaft Mit Beschrankter Haftung
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
System for shrink-wrapping palletized goods
US 5042235 A
Resumen
Goods are packaged by first placing a thermoplastic lower foil atop a pallet with edges of the foil projecting laterally past the pallet and then stacking goods on the pallet atop the foil on the pallet within the edges of the foil. The lower edge of a downwardly open heat-shrinkable foil hood is held as the hood is fitted downward over the stack on the pallet until the lower edge is generally below the stack. This lower edge is then gripped below the stack and the foil hood is shrunk from top to bottom around the stack while continuing to grip the lower edge below the stack. Finally the foil hood is welded to the outer edge of the lower foil. Thus when the grippers are carried on the same vertically displaceable frame as the heater/blowers it is possible for the grippers to release and move upward before the top-to-bottom shrinking of the hood. During such shrinking the clamps will prevent the hood or sack from riding up too much.
Imágenes(3)
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Reclamaciones(8)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for packaging a stack of goods sitting on a pallet and on a thermoplastic lower foil with an outer edge projecting past the stack, the apparatus comprising:
a support defining a surface carrying the pallet, lower foil, and stack;
means including grippers for holding a lower edge of a downwardly open heat-shrinkable foil hood and fitting the hood downward over the stack on the pallet until the lower edge is generally below the stack;
means including at least two longitudinally extending and transversely spaced rails flanking the surface and clamps below the stacks for securing the lower edge below the stack adjacent the grippers; and
means including a vertically displaceable heater unit for shrinking the foil hood from top to bottom around the stack while continuing to grip the lower edge below the stack and for welding the foil hood to the outer edge of the lower foil.
2. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the rails are below a plane defined by an upper surface of the pallet.
3. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein the pallet has leading and trailing members defining transversely extending and longitudinally spaced abutments bridging the rails.
4. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the clamps are pivotal clamp arms.
5. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the clamps are below a plane defined by an upper surface of t he pallet.
6. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the clamps are arms pivotal about horizontal axes.
7. The packaging apparatus defined in claim 1, further comprising
blower means having an intake open upward underneath the support surface and a downwardly opening output for aspirating air from underneath the hood.
8. An apparatus for packaging a stack of goods sitting on a pallet and on a thermoplastic lower foil with an outer edge projecting past the stack, the apparatus comprising:
a support defining a surface carrying the pallet, lower foil, and stack;
a frame vertically displaceable adjacent the pallet;
means including grippers mounted on the frame for holding a lower edge of a downwardly open heat-shrinkable foil hood and fitting the hood downward over the stack on the pallet until the lower edge is generally below the stack;
means including at least two longitudinally extending and transversely spaced rails flanking the surface and clamps below the stacks for gripping the lower edge blow the stack; and
means including a vertically displaceable heater unit mounted on the frame for shrinking the foil hood from top to bottom around the stack while continuing to grip the lower edge below the stack and for welding the foil hood to the outer edge of the lower foil.
Descripción
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the packaging of goods on a pallet. More particularly this invention concerns a method of and apparatus for shrink-wrapping palletized goods.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to transport and store stacks of goods, for instance bottles or cases of canned foodstuffs, on pallets and to protect and stabilize the palletized stack with a shrink wrap. To this end a lower shrinkable foil is laid atop the pallet, the stack is formed atop this lower foil, an upper foil hood is pulled down over the stack, and the foils are shrunk around the goods.

In a standard prior-art system the hood is gripped at its edge and pulled down over the stack by grippers carried on an annular frame that is vertically displaceable at the wrapping station. Once the hood is in place its edge is released and heater/blowers on the frame are activated as the frame is raised to shrink the wrap and in fact to weld it to the outer edge of the lower foil on which the stack sits, thereby also securing the palletized stack to the pallet. Such an arrangement can trap air in the package and form bubbles as the air is heated. These bubbles do not always recede completely when the package subsequently cools. In addition diagonal folds frequently form at the corners of the package so that the resin of the shrink wrap is insufficiently heated where it is doubled over. What is more the pockets formed by such folds can trap water when the palletized package is stored outside, creating the possibility of leakage and subsequent handling problems. Furthermore as the foil shrinks there is excessive shrinking adjacent the poorly heated doubled areas so that holes can appear at these excessively shrunk regions.

European patent application 205,135 describes a system which avoids some of these problems by holding the bottom edge of the hood out away from the package and by applying the heat from top to bottom while air is aspirated from beneath the package, an effect achieved by releasing the bottom edge of the upper hood foil, raising the frame to its uppermost position, and then activating the heater/blowers as the frame is once again lowered. This system does indeed avoid the formation of bubbles. Nonetheless the upper hood foil frequently shrinks such that it pulls up away from the pallet so that by the time the heater/blowers are in their lowermost position the lower edge of the upper foil is spaced above the lower foil and can no longer be welded to it.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved method of and apparatus for shrinking a stack of goods on a pallet.

Another object is the provision of such an improved method of and apparatus for shrinking a stack of goods on a pallet which overcomes the above-given disadvantages, that is which completely avoids the formation of bubbles in the wrap while still ensuring complete encasing of the stack being packaged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to this invention goods are packaged by first placing a thermoplastic lower foil atop a pallet with edges of the foil projecting laterally past the pallet and then stacking goods on the pallet atop the foil on the pallet within the edges of the foil. The lower edge of a downwardly open heat-shrinkable foil hood is held as the hood is fitted downward over the stack on the pallet until the lower edge is generally below the stack. This lower edge is then gripped below the stack and the foil hood is shrunk from top to bottom around the stack while continuing to grip the lower edge below the stack. Finally the foil hood is welded to the outer edge of the lower foil.

Thus when, according to a further feature of this invention the grippers are carried on the same vertically displaceable frame as the heater/blowers it is possible for the grippers to release and move upward before the top-to-bottom shrinking of the hood. During such shrinking the clamps will prevent the hood or sack from riding up too much.

In accordance with this invention the lower edge is gripped by being pinched against abutments below the pallet. Normally the abutments are constituted as stationary longitudinally extending rails that flank the packaging station. The pallet itself normally has transversely extending leading and trailing beams having leading and trailing faces constituting the abutments against which the respective portions of the lower edge are clamped.

The lower edge of the foil hood is welded according to this invention to the outer edge of the lower foil below the stack in a skirt that is shrunk-fit around the pallet. This makes for a very solid package which, when opened, will allow the goods to be readily separated from the pallet.

The abutments and the clamps according to this invention lie below a plane defined by an upper surface of the pallet. These clamps are constituted as L-shaped clamp arms pivoted about horizontal axes parallel to the respective sides of the normally parallepipedal stack and pallet.

In order to further prevent bubbles from forming in the package a blower is provided having an intake open upward underneath the support surface and downwardly opening output for aspirating air from underneath the hood.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is an end view of the stacking system of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a large-scale view of a detail of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a side view of the stacking system.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION

As seen in FIGS. 1 through 3 a packaging station 1 holds a pallet 2 carrying a stack 3 of goods to be packaged. A thermoplastic foil 4 lies atop the pallet 2 underneath the stack 3 and has its outer edge projecting out from beneath the stack 3 and, to start with, hanging down like a skirt around the pallet 2.

For hygienic shrink wrapping a thermoplastic and shrinkable synthetic-resin sack or hood 5 is fitted down over the stack 3. This is done by grasping its lower edge with a plurality of grippers 6 carried by unillustrated connections on a vertically displaceable frame 15 and engaging this lower edge at a plurality of location spaced around the stack 3. The hood 5 is pulled down over the stack 3 until its lower edge hangs all the way down past the pallet and, in fact, past a support surface S formed by conveyor chains 14 supporting the pallet 2.

According to this invention the support surface S is transversely flanked by longitudinally extending angle-iron abutments 9 that lie wholly below the stack 3 and also below the entire foil 4 and that define longitudinally extending and vertical surfaces 10 against which L-shaped pivotal clamp arms 11 can press the lower edge of the hood 5. Similar such arms projecting up between the chains 14 can press the transversely extending leading and trailing portions of the lower edge of the hood against abutments formed by the transversely extending beams 12 of the pallet. The clamps 11 are offset from the grippers 6 so that the lower edge of the hood 5 can be clamped against the abutments 10 and 12 before it is released by these grippers 6.

The frame 15 also carries standard blower/heater units 7 and an exhaust fan 13 has a downwardly open output and an intake connected to a box 8 formed underneath the surface S and provided with intake slots under this surface S for drawing off air driven out of the hood 5.

Thus with this arrangement the hood 5 is fitted dow around the stack 3 and its lower edge is clamped in place. The grippers 6 are then released and the frame 15 moves to a position at the top of the stack 3 whereupon the heater/blowers 7 are activated and this frame 15 is lowered. Thus the sack-like hood 5 is shrunk tightly around the stack and, when the heater/blowers 7 come level with the lower end of the stack, the hood 5 is welded to the outer edge of the foil 4 and in fact shrinks up around the pallet to secure the stack 3 tightly in place thereon. Meanwhile air inside the hood 5 is sucked out by the blower 13 to ensure that no bubbles are formed. When the frame 15 has reached its lowermost position the clamps 11 are released and the conveyor chains 14 are advanced to move the shrink-wrapped palletized stack 3 off longitudinally, that is left-to-right as seen in FIG. 3.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US3508375 *25 Jul 196828 Abr 1970Larry L Kaufman CoMethod and apparatus for covering a load on a pallet
US3522688 *18 Oct 19674 Ago 1970Alkor Oberlikon Plastic GmbhMethod of enveloping a loaded pallet in a conforming plastic film
US3581458 *20 Mar 19681 Jun 1971Gustavsson Olov ErlandMethod of shrinking a sleeve- or cap-shaped wrapping of heat-shrinkable plastic sheet surrounding a transport unit and an apparatus for carrying out the method
US3621588 *9 Sep 196923 Nov 1971Nuetro Hirsch & CoDevice for packaging piece goods on a base frame
US3667598 *18 Feb 19716 Jun 1972Weldotron CorpWrapped pallet load
US4575989 *15 Oct 198218 Mar 1986Msk-Verpackungs-Systeme GmbhMethod and device for packaging palletized stacks of goods
US4724658 *15 Abr 198716 Feb 1988Mollers Maschinenfabrik GmbhArrangement for sliding and shrinking a hood of shrinking foil over and onto a stack
EP0205135A1 *7 Jun 198617 Dic 1986MSK-Verpackungs-Systeme Gesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungMethod for packaging stacked articles disposed on a pallet, and device for putting the method into operation
EP0249534A1 *3 Jun 198716 Dic 1987Newtec InternationalMethod and apparatus for packaging a palletized load in a film of heat-shrinkable plastic material
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US5247783 *12 Sep 199128 Sep 1993Develog, Reiner Hannen & CieSystem for wrapping palletized goods
US5415518 *25 Ago 199316 May 1995R.R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyAutomated method and system for loading book mail bundles onto a pallet
US6421983 *3 Nov 199923 Jul 2002Kl-Lachenmeier A/SMethod and apparatus for shrinking a foil onto an object
US683703121 Ene 20004 Ene 2005MSK-Verpackungss-Systeme Gesellschaft Mit Beschrankter HaftungDevice for shrinking a shrink-wrap film
US728436019 Ago 200423 Oct 2007Kellogg CompanyBulk transportable container
US7770366 *11 Mar 200810 Ago 2010Transfresh CorporationSystems for automatically sealing a plastic bag/enclosure over containers of perishables carried on a pallet
US79216245 Jun 200912 Abr 2011Kellogg CompanyUnitary transporter base and shaper and slip frame former for forming a transportable container
US8024912 *21 Jun 201027 Sep 2011Chiquita Brands, LlcMethods for preserving pallet units of fresh perishables in modified atmosphere containing bags
US810452011 Jun 200931 Ene 2012Kellogg CompanyGentle handling hopper and scrunched bag for filling and forming a transportable container
US81913413 Sep 20095 Jun 2012Kellogg CompanyMethod for forming a transportable container for bulk goods
US8776486 *28 Ene 201115 Jul 2014Msk-Verpackungs-Systeme GmbhApparatus for wrapping a stack of objects with a film
US91267051 Dic 20118 Sep 2015Kellogg CompanyTransportable container for bulk goods and method for forming the same
US9205964 *23 Sep 20118 Dic 2015Felix Waldner GmbhMethod for packaging a pack commodity, and package for a pack commodity
US20060037285 *19 Ago 200423 Feb 2006Cary Randall LBulk transportable container
US20080216450 *11 Mar 200811 Sep 2008Transfresh CorporationMethods and apparatus for preserving pallet units of fresh perishables in modified atmosphere-containing bags
US20100051618 *3 Sep 20094 Mar 2010Dave OursTransportable container for bulk goods and method for forming the same
US20100293893 *21 Jun 201025 Nov 2010Macleod Richard F JMethods and apparatus for preserving pallet units of fresh perishables in modifield atmosphere-containing bags
US20110185687 *28 Ene 20114 Ago 2011Michels Frank RolfApparatus for wrapping a stack of objects with a film
US20120241343 *23 Sep 201127 Sep 2012Felix Waldner GmbhMethod for packaging a pack commodity, and package for a pack commodity
US20130067861 *16 Sep 201121 Mar 2013Owens Corning Intellectual Capital, LlcPackaging to improve shelflife of insulation products
EP1207109A1 *15 Nov 200122 May 2002Société ThimonMethod and device applying and heat-sealing a hood in thermoplastic retractable material in order to obtain a waterproof palletized package
EP1378460A1 *11 Jun 20037 Ene 2004Whirlpool CorporationPackaging for chest freezers and method for its use
WO2000044626A1 *21 Ene 20003 Ago 2000MSK-Verpackungs-Systeme Gesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungDevice for shrinking a shrink-wrap film
WO2006023155A1 *12 Jul 20052 Mar 2006Kellogg CompanyBulk transportable container
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.53/557, 53/442
Clasificación internacionalB65B53/02
Clasificación cooperativaB65B53/02
Clasificación europeaB65B53/02
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
12 Feb 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: MSK-VERPACKUNGS-SYSTEME GESELLSCHAFT MIT BESCHRANK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:HANNEN, REINER W.;VERMEULEN, NORBERT;REEL/FRAME:005247/0402
Effective date: 19900202
24 Ene 1995FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
26 Ene 1999FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
12 Mar 2003REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
27 Ago 2003LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
21 Oct 2003FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20030827